Archive Materials



Founding Years




Gracious Living

Broader Diversity

Forward Looking





Student Life

Historical Contexts

Wider World


Community Service & Mount Holyoke Students
Perpetuating the Legacy of Mary Lyon


Students preparing to visit a factory in Holyoke to examine the health and working conditions in 1917. (1)

“Be willing to do anything, anywhere; be not hasty to decide that you have no physical or mental strength, no faith or hope.” Mary Lyon

Evolution of a Principle: Within the greater South Hadley community. MHC has evolved from that of a female seminary—training, preparing and producing young women for missionary and teaching positions, to an institution whose students have involved themselves within the local community as volunteers, teachers, and mentors through community service organizations and community based learning courses. As the college expanded through the years—growing significantly within the community of South Hadley—its involvement with community service activities throughout the area grew as well. Mary Lyon’s choice for locating MHC in South Hadley was indeed fortuitous—not only for the school itself, but for the surrounding communities that would benefit from the efforts of the students who are wholeheartedly perpetuating Mary Lyon’s vision.

How it began--where it is now. Community service activity by Mount Holyoke College students began through the local congregational church and their community efforts. Involvement with the local town farm and the establishment of the YWCA on campus soon followed. Through the years the community service programs and efforts by students grew significantly. By the turn of the century, students were actively participating in civic activities throughout the greater South Hadley community. Today, Mount Holyoke College has integrated into its' curriculum a number of Community Based Learning courses that introduce the students of today to the local communites and allows them the opportunity to put into practice the principles of their education.


Atlas Home Community Service Stories, Images & MHC girls in action Fortuitous Union of MHC & Town of South Hadley History of Community Service & CBL at MHC References
This page was created by Anjanette Kelso-Watson '04 in History 283, Fall Semester 2003 -